Friday, April 4, 2014

On Tour: Tea and Primroses by Tess Thompson

Tea and Primroses

Tea and Primroses by Tess Thompson
Series: The Legley Bay Collection
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published February 16th 2014 by Booktrope

Nothing is as it seemed in calm, quaint Legley Bay.

Famous novelist Constance Mansfield lived a seemingly straightforward – if private – and somewhat predictable life. Friends, beloved daughter Sutton, a beautiful home, and all the success an author could wish for. A perfect life….but was it?

When a hit and run accident suddenly takes her mother’s life, Sutton finds hidden secrets with her heartbreak. Emotional walls she assumed Constance had built to protect her privacy may have been to protect something – or someone – else entirely. Family and friends return home for support, including her own lost-love, Declan. He’s the first thing she craves to help her cope with her loss and the questions she’s left with, but he’s also the last person she wants to see. Will he be able to put down roots at last?

Can the loss of true love be the making of a life, or is it destined to be the undoing of everything? When money, power and love combine across time, anything is possible.

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My thoughts about Tea and Primroses ~~

I was first introduced to the community of Legley Bay in Caramel and Magnolias, and now in Tea and Primroses, I was able to go back to that wonderful world and meet more interesting people. I loved how some of the characters from Caramel and Magnolias showed up in Tea and Primroses. I felt like I was taking a trip back home and seeing old friends again.

There is so much to the story in this book and Tess does a wonderful job of keeping the story going and keeping it interesting. The reader knows almost from the beginning that there are secrets surrounding Sutton's mother's death. As well as additional, deeper family secrets just waiting to be uncovered.
'"She wrote novels - she wasn't a rock star. And she was so reclusive. I don't think anyone knew where she lived. Especially after what happened to poor Stephen King, you know, getting hit by that crazy driver while he was out walking. She was so careful and nervous." And overprotective of me, she thought. Always worried something was going to happen. This she could hardly be blamed for, given all the loss she'd suffered over the years.'
One of the things I loved about these two stories of Tess' is the memory smells that are mentioned throughout. I love memory smells and it made me smile every time I read the references to them in the stories. Smells can be so powerful.
'Your mother smelled of tea and primroses and I loved her. And you still smell of cinnamon and green apples.'
After her mother dies, Sutton learns so much about her mother's life, so much that explains why her mother lived the way she did and why her own childhood was so hard. Can this knowledge help Sutton find peace and happiness with her life?
'I've learned this now, at the end of my life, that it's the choices you didn't make, the chances you didn't take, that you regret. Not the failures. They pile up as experiences to learn from. And you know, regardless of the outcome, you tried.'
It was so wonderful to take a trip back to Legley Bay. I look forward to spending more time there and getting to know more of the people who live there.

I read Caramel and Magnolias recently and thoroughly enjoyed it!
You can read my thoughts here.

About the author

Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright with a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California. In 2011 she released her first novel, Riversong, which subsequently became a best seller.

Like her main character in the River Valley collection, Tess is from a small town in Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters, Emerson and Ella, and their puppy Patches. She is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window.

Tess is working on her next novel and regularly blogs about her journey as a mother, author and friend at

Connect with Tess

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